Categories: Bitcoin

South Korea Remains Firm on ICO Ban Despite Calls for Legality, For Now


The chairman of South Korea’s primary markets regulator has reaffirmed the authority’s initial coin offering (ICO) ban in a top-level meeting on Thursday.

Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Choi Jong-ku has told lawmakers during the annual government audit in a parliamentary meeting that the authority will stick to its policy of a sweeping blanket ban on fundraising through initial coin offerings.

The official stressed the regulator would continue to take this position despite calls from crypto industry, the startup sector and even some lawmakers urging the government to legalize ICOs under regulation.

During the meeting, FSC chairman Choi Jong-ku was quoted by Korean publication Yonhap as stating:

“Although many people call for the government to allow initial coin offerings, there are still uncertainties related to such a move as well as the possibility of serious fallouts.”

Taking its cue from China, the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) – the country’s markets watchdog under the FSC – issued a ban on all ICOs in September 2017.

It wasn’t long before financial authorities began considering a reversal of the ban with a new bill drafted to legalize the launch of new ICOs and crypto tokens in South Korea.

Come May 2018, South Korea’s National Assembly – the 300-member national legislature – moved with an official proposal to lift the ban. The bi-partisan effort has seen lawmakers from various political spectrums advance the effort.

Elsewhere in South Korea’s Jeju island, governor Won Hee-ryong formally proposed that the central government designate the province as a “special zone” for the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. The governor made the proposal in a meeting with Korea’s finance minister, the deputy prime minister for the economy and other key policymakers in mid-August.

If approved, the self-governing province would go on to legalize ICOs, governor Won confirmed.

“Entrepreneurs looking to innovate should be allowed to raise funds through cryptocurrency,” he stated, opening the shores of the largest island off the coast of the Korean peninsula to domestic startups and entrepreneurs from the mainland and its ban.

Featured image from Youtube/Yonhap.

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